Los Angeles – Those that were able to witness The Black Queen on a chilly winter night in Glendale were treated to an eclectic night of music, capped off by an impressive performance by the super-group from Los Angeles. The choice to perform at Complex in the less-than-trendy city of Glendale seemed a bit surprising, but after spending some time at the venue it is clear that this small club will be able to carve itself into the Los Angeles live scene. The sold-out venue provided plenty of floor space and some great angles to catch the artists, as well as a large patio for those who were a bit overwhelmed by the intense volume of the three artists on Friday night’s bill. Of course the main attraction was Greg Puciato, Stephen Alexander and Joshua Eustis in The Black Queen, but opening acts Shannon F and Drab Majesty provided plenty of entertainment for the first portion of the night.
Being a band that was formed here in Los Angeles, it only makes sense that Southern California would be lucky enough to get one of the only two announced shows that The Black Queen have scheduled, the other being across the Atlantic in London. The show sold out quickly, and before the doors were even opened a long line stood at the door waiting to get in. Despite likely being the biggest show ever hosted by Complex, the venue was not over capacitated and it was quite easy to move from the patio to the bathrooms and the bar, particularly as the openers performed. Once it was time for the three headliners to take the stage, the crowd squeezed together to get as close as possible to the performance.
A heavy shroud of mist covered the stage, making it occasionally difficult to see the performers in darker lighting, but as quickly as the lights would go down they would flash back up again, nearly recreating the impressive visuals from their video for “Ice to Never”. While there were some occasional technical difficulties with the background display, the band’s musical performance was flawless. They took the stage as a fairly minimalist trio, with Puciato on vocals, Alexander playing guitar, and Eustis manning the electronics and synthesizers. The band was able to flawlessly recreate the sounds heard on their debut album Fever Daydream, with Puciato providing the same kind of intense performance he became known for while playing with the metal group Dillinger Escape Plan.
The band made its way through the entirety of Fever Daydream, including standout tracks like “The End Where We Start”, “Secret Scream”, “Maybe We Should”, “Distanced,” and “That Death Cannot Touch”. The band was mostly quiet in between songs, though every so often would engage in a little banter with the crowd. Keeping a quiet profile seemed to be an effective part of The Black Queen’s stage presence, complementing the dark, cold and distant sound of their music.
In addition to this sole North American show here in Los Angeles, The Black Queen also played in London, bringing Drab Majesty and his neo-Ziggy Stardust stage persona along with them.